Now in his 80s, Gai Eaton describes how, after a strange childhood completely isolated from other children, followed by a Cambridge education and life as an actor and later as a diplomat, circumstances led him at the age of 30 to Islam. Fascinated by the vagaries of human behavior and the strangeness of human destinies, he has observed the human scene with a novelist's eye and traced the profound changes in attitudes and tastes which have taken place in a single lifetime. He recounts his youthful adventures with the clear-sight and understanding only possible for someone whom age has freed from the passions which once possessed him. What makes this work unique is the juxtaposition of hindsight with diary entries made at the time, which gives a quality of immediacy to a true story that includes reminiscences of the diplomatic life and an outline of the Sufi path.
Gai Eaton is the author of three major works on Islam which have had a profound influence on young Muslims in the West, offering them an alternative both to extremism and to the narrow perspective of immigrant parents. Now, as an octogenarian, he looks back on his troubled early life and on the circumstances which led him, at the age of 30, to Islam. This autobiography is the story of a born sceptic's search for faith while preoccupied with questions of race and class, sex and money. After a strange childhood completely isolated from other children, he was educated at Charterhouse and Cambridge to become, succesively, an actor, a teacher and journalist in Jamaica where he was involved in the island's politics, a diplomat, a writer and finally, consultant to the leading Islamic institution in Britain